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Member since: Fri Aug 1, 2008, 07:40 PM
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Mass. Chemist Faked Drug Tests, Thousands Wrongly Convicted.


A Massachusetts chemist accused of faking drug test results now finds herself in the same position as the accused drug dealers she testified against: charged with a crime and facing years in prison.

Annie Dookhan, 34, of Franklin, was arrested Friday in a burgeoning investigation that has already led to the shutdown of a state drug lab, the resignation of the state's public health commissioner and the potential upending of thousands of criminal cases.

"Annie Dookhan's alleged actions corrupted the integrity of the entire criminal justice system," state Attorney General Martha Coakley said during a news conference after Dookhan's arrest. "There are many victims as a result of this."

Dookhan faces more than 20 years in prison on charges of obstruction of justice and falsely pretending to hold a degree form a college or university.

Dookhan's alleged mishandling of drug samples prompted the shutdown of the Hinton State Laboratory Institute in Boston last month.

State police say Dookhan tested more than 60,000 drug samples involving 34,000 defendants during her nine years at the lab. Defense lawyers and prosecutors are scrambling to figure out how to deal with the fallout.

She also apparently lied under oath about having a degree.

I have to question a justice system where so many people could be convicted on the word of one person, whose integrity, credentials and procedures were apparently never checked over nine years.

Reversing Trend, Life Span Shrinks for Some Whites

Source: New York Times

For generations of Americans, it was a given that children would live longer than their parents. But there is now mounting evidence that this enduring trend has reversed itself for the country’s least-educated whites, an increasingly troubled group whose life expectancy has fallen by four years since 1990.

Researchers have long documented that the most educated Americans were making the biggest gains in life expectancy, but now they say mortality data show that life spans for some of the least educated Americans are actually contracting. Four studies in recent years identified modest declines, but a new one that looks separately at Americans lacking a high school diploma found disturbingly sharp drops in life expectancy for whites in this group. Experts not involved in the new research said its findings were persuasive.

The reasons for the decline remain unclear, but researchers offered possible explanations, including a spike in prescription drug overdoses among young whites, higher rates of smoking among less educated white women, rising obesity, and a steady increase in the number of the least educated Americans who lack health insurance.

The steepest declines were for white women without a high school diploma, who lost five years of life between 1990 and 2008, said S. Jay Olshansky, a public health professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the lead investigator on the study, published last month in Health Affairs. By 2008, life expectancy for black women without a high school diploma had surpassed that of white women of the same education level, the study found.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/21/us/life-expectancy-for-less-educated-whites-in-us-is-shrinking.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120921&moc.semityn.www

I'm thinking that being pushed into poverty has a lot to do with this. Either way, if there are such declines, it represents pain poor whites physically feel.

There are some political implications for this. My predictions, based on my inner cynical bastard:

1) Expect there to be a conversion at the polls away from small-government, pro-business ideology. Conservatism is going to shrink even faster than our demographic shift would indicate.

2) At the same time, expect the rise of right wing extremism. More White Supremacists and White Separatists who, you bet, will urgently cite this study. Their flight from the Republican Party is going to bleed it dry. At the same time, expect the wealthy to switch at least a lot of the funding from the Republicans to the radical right wingers.

3) Expect there to be a born-again love of social programs and government intervention. First thing, expect the Repubs to stop complaining about Obamacare over the next four years.

Whites are powerful enough that they'll sway trends in this country, once they're terrified for their futures, and these statistics indicate they should be feeling some terror.

Finally! Romney doesn't flip-flop.

It looks like he's sticking to what he was caught saying at that fund-raiser. Voters are now informed on exactly what he believes, what values he holds.

To the surprise of everyone outside of DU, his real values turn out to be despicable. Now, Romney has defined this election emphatically as a class-warfare battle, with an assault against the middle and lower classes. Everyone here knows those people at the dinner believed what Romney does because they made donations above the $50 thousand dollar meal. Let's face it, Romney thought he could speak freely because he was among like-minded colleagues and mostly he was right. It took months for this to come out.

As Ann Romney said in March (?), we've finally see the man beyond the zipper, the real Romney. The striking thing about his politically revealing "wardrobe malfunction" is how he presents himself to his only constituents. To hear him say it, he's valiantly going up against an almost insurmountable 47 percentage point lead, against the hordes of lazy, undeserving, titsucking, dependents: single mothers, welfare queens, social security recipients, war veterans, unemployed, malingering pseudo-disabled pirates and all the other Randian second-handers. As far as he's concerned, this fantasy throng is the only thing standing between the wealthy and another tax cut. Romney's Reliable One Percent will vote for him no matter what, and will now still vote for him even after this is out, unless they stay at home in despair.

The Republicans and Conservatives got the candidate they deserve. A banal, vacuous, thoughtless, arrogant, greedy, stupid, ruthless, self-satisfied brat. He's supposed to be a "moderate" Republican. I think, however, the other "moderate" or "compassionate" Republican presidents of our age could have been caught saying the same thing he did. That is the two Bushes. They were banal in the same way Romney is, raised wealthy and insulated from the middle and lower classes, taught to fear them, and instilled with their own unshakeable sense of entitlement, while being misinformed that they were working for everything they obtained.

Even the conservatives who rose from the lower classes have to imitate the decadent values brought about by the life of a wealthy family's son. They have to praise that ethos and show it with deeds to get investments, or if you're a politician to get donations from the wealthy.

It's very telling, and ironic, that after flip-flopping on everything else, his opinion on the 47 percent would be what he publicly sticks to. This says something, shows it's an issue very near his shrunken, atrophied heart. Romney must actually fear hellfire if he lied about this.

The press is declaring this to be the issue that has lost Romney the election. No, that was last week, (I guess the press can't remember) with his response to the riots and murders of our diplomats in Libya. This time, he has hurt the whole Republican Party. He's now an asset to the Democrats, and he could lose the Repubs both houses of Congress. I'm overjoyed. I haven't felt this way since 1980.

The question I want answered is, who leaked this to the press, and how did Romney screw them over so bad that they would throw this bomb? I suspect Romney is a shit behind the scenes, and there's a vendetta at work, but we may never know.

Government a huge doner to charities.

For people who think we should cut taxes and social program charities can handle the safety net, it's never pointed that the government is the major donor to charity.

Take for example, Catholic Charities, an how Bill O'Reilly ignorantly stumbles into supporting public funding for Planned Parenthood:

" target="_blank">http://mediamatters.org/mobile/blog/2012/09/12/oreillys-accidental-support-for-planned-parenth/189845

Here's the chart from that site (I don't know how to put photos up on the site, so it probably won't work):

If you look at the chart, Catholic Charities would look far different without government support. It would be much weaker. No, I don't think donations would replace 62% of the funding. What private citizen would step in and give $3 billion to Catholic Charities? If they did, it would be their private company. Yes, privatized charities.

It's odd that I've been hearing we should rely on charities for the social safety net for decades, and I've never heard anyone point this out. Charities would be able to do far less, not more, with lower taxes.

Mitt Romney's Smirking Suicide: Things Have Changed

Yes, it's great to have the Romney campaign go down in flames with two months to spare. I hope the time between now and election day will be spent in blame and acrimony that will bring down the Republican majority in Congress.

However, there's another development with this. Romney merely used a tactic that of the same type George W. Bush used: and people, even his own party, are disgusted with it. Exploiting a tragedy for political purposes?
Romney has a right to complain: Bush would have gotten away with this.

Things are changing in this country, and to the better.
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